Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When the Dog Bites, When the Bee Stings...

My Favorite Things Today:

*Now that the Solstice is behind us, I love looking for that extra few minutes of light every day. Its nice.

*Also. Today is my last day of work...for 12 days! That's almost 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS WITHOUT WORKING, PEOPLE! This makes me glow almost more than sex. Or even chocolate. I kid you not.

*Snow. Lots of it. Very holiday-like. Not sure how our roads will be for the holiday traveling tomorrow but I'm enjoying the picturesque views out my window.

Speaking of traveling, I have a lot to do tonight, before we leave tomorrow. We'll only be gone for a couple days, but any of you parents know that when you're traveling with a kid (one in diapers, no less), you always need more stuff than you think you will. So I'll be packing up tonight- putting presents in boxes, diapers in bags, cookies in tins, survival kit in the trunk (you know, just in case)...

It will be nice to see family but the thing I'm looking forward to most of all is the after part- the part where we are hanging out at home, doing our thing, spending time together. I plan on knitting, reading, playing with my kid and generally enjoying myself immensely.

Wishing all of you a very happy holiday, full of YOUR favorite things!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Give Peace a Chance

Like most of us, I am many things to many different people: Daughter, Wife, Sister, Mother, Friend, Employee...I am a Reader, a Writer, a Knitter, a Cook...And, one of the titles I've identified with a great deal during my life has been Musician.

I began playing the piano as a toddler, played woodwinds in school (clarinet, flute, saxophone), took voice lessons, guitar lessons...I've always loved music. And now, in my busy adult life, while I don't have as much time for playing music as I would like, I still listen to music every day and sing to my son whenever I get the chance. And some nights, when the house is dark and the little boy has finally succumbed to sleep, you can find me playing the works of Beethoven, Tori Amos, and the Righteous Brothers softly on my piano before bed.

Maybe that's the reason this clip had me reaching for the tissue box. In the spirit of the season and all of our wishes for Peace, enjoy:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ho, Ho, Achoo! ... Excuse me.

I keep meaning to post lovely photos of the cookies I made this weekend, or maybe of the Amish Friendship Bread that came from a starter passed on to me at a party I attended, or possibly even the knitted toy that is finally finished...

But no. The days fly by and I'm pretty proud of myself if I even remember to brush my teeth and pack a lunch. It doesn't help that we're all sick and sleep deprived because a little boy who shall remain NAMELESS is refusing to sleep. Sigh.

On the side of accomplishment, I do have all my holiday gifts wrapped and either under the tree or shipped to their recipients. As I mentioned above, I did some killer holiday baking this weekend and I have 3 parties attended, over with and out of the way. So that feels good.

But like I said, time is at a premium for me, just like it is for you, I'm sure.

Fa la la la la - la la la la!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Explosion *Edited*

There is some crazy growing happening here at Chez Birdbrain, lemme tell ya. Yesterday I had a baby, today I have a toddler- quickly on his way to becoming a Little Kid tomorrow. I know this is what is supposed to happen, but please don't laugh at me when I say that it is COMPLETELY BLOWING MY FUCKING MIND. Let me give you some details:

Suddenly, in the last week, Little O's vocabulary has done some kind of rabbit like reproduction and completely exploded. He knows all kinds of words now and can put them together to communicate what he wants. I'm going to list the words he knows now just so I can refer back to it a month from now when he turns into James Joyce:

More (also signs)
Please (also signs)
Milk (also signs)
Daisy (sounds like "Days-dee")
Bubbles ("bub-oooools")
Stars ("sharsssss")
Bye (also waves)
Hi (this is the new ultimate favorite word...I think he just digs the response he gets..."hi!" HI!)
Blueberries (comes out like "Bee-Bees")
Clock ("chhhhhock" -phlemy and really quite humorous)
Socks ("shocks")
*Edited 24 hrs later to add:
Owie (says this when he falls down or bumps his head on something)
Back (as in: Put that back!)

I think that's it...of course he understands much more, but these are the words he is using regularly. And he can put them together , i.e. "More cookies" or "Milk Please" (both saying and using signs).

And he's taller- I noticed this morning that his feet touch the footrest on his highchair. When did that happen?

He's wearing "big boy shoes"- shoes with a sole as opposed to the little soft infant shoes.

His 18 month onesies are suddenly hard to button. He will be 15 months old on the 24th...

Am I alone in feeling kind of like I'm in a speeding car that I have no control over?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On Marriage

I'm sure by now, you guys know how I feel about GLBT rights and marriage. As in YES PLEASE. But anyway.

This Newsweek Article provides some interesting food for thought...Go read it. I'll wait.

Ok good. I think this section is particularly interesting:

If the bible doesn't give abundant examples of traditional marriage, then what are the gay-marriage opponents really exercised about? Well, homosexuality, of course—specifically sex between men. Sex between women has never, even in biblical times, raised as much ire. In its entry on "Homosexual Practices," the Anchor Bible Dictionary notes that nowhere in the Bible do its authors refer to sex between women, "possibly because it did not result in true physical 'union' (by male entry)."
The Bible does condemn gay male sex in a handful of passages. Twice Leviticus refers to sex between men as "an abomination" (King James version), but these are throwaway lines in a peculiar text given over to codes for living in the ancient Jewish world, a text that devotes verse after verse to treatments for leprosy, cleanliness rituals for menstruating women and the correct way to sacrifice a goat—or a lamb or a turtle dove. Most of us no longer heed Leviticus on haircuts or blood sacrifices; our modern understanding of the world has surpassed its prescriptions. Why would we regard its condemnation of homosexuality with more seriousness than we regard its advice, which is far lengthier, on the best price to pay for a slave?

Indeed...it does seem that people pick and choose what biblical passages apply to them and what doesn't...not only on this issue but also on others. Maybe I have a skewed perspective as someone who has no religious affiliation or inclinations? (I was raised Catholic but left the church as soon as humanly possible- 14yrs old and have never looked back.) I just wonder how someone justifies adhering to passages calling sex between men as an "abomination" but chooses to ignore those about sacrificing goats, having more than one wife, owning slaves, etc....am I missing something here??

Monday, December 8, 2008

Positively Griswaldian

Saturday was our day to get an Xmas tree. It was THE day. The only day between now and Xmas that we both had free for this specific activity. We were excited. Every year, this is the day we look forward to: hiking around in the pristine wilderness, looking for the ONE- the best tree in the forest, green and pine-y, GOOD SMELLING, and specifically put there by the power-that-be for us to KILL and put in our basement.

And so, on Saturday morning, while Otto was napping, the husband went to get a permit ($10! Thus making getting our own tree not only a fabulous family tradition but also the most economical option) at the Forest Service office. Uh oh-Closed. But! A sign informed that the visitor's center up the mountain was open and selling permits from 9am-4pm*... No worries!

After Little O woke up, we had lunch (mmm...Reuben sammiches), got bundled up, loaded the sled, hand saw, rope and thermos of hot chocolate into the back of the car and away we went! 45 min. later, we were up in the Snowy Range looking at flocked pine trees and gorgeous mountain vistas. Beautiful! Breathtaking! Perfect Xmas tree procuring weather!

We pulled into the visitor's center parking lot, nearly breathless with anticipation, our saliva glands in overdrive at the thought of the PERFECT TREE that surely awaited us...and then we saw it:
The visitor's center closed at 2pm, not 4. We pulled into the parking lot at 2:10. A permit would not be had. Not today.

For a brief moment, we considered just getting a tree anyway. What are the odds of getting caught? Well, considering my luck, pretty good actually. And no tree is worth the kind of fine they lay on Xmas tree poachers. And so, not to completely waste the trip (and the hot chocolate) we got out anyway, went for a short hike and enjoyed some amazing views of frozen wilderness.

Then it was back in the car and back to town. We drove all the way in to the nursery and picked out a tree from the tree lot. In our gators and snow boots. For $30. Sigh. So it took 3.5 hours to get a tree that was, after all, about 8 minutes from our house.

And while the tree is cute, it is perfect...too perfect. But its there, in our basement- strewn with lights and ornaments.

And we got a good story, anyway. But next year, not to point fingers, but I'm buying the tree permit.

*Yeah...he thought the sign said 4pm, but when we went back to look, it really said 2pm...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Relatively Painless

Ok, so it wasn't that bad. About what I expected. Relatives, awkward conversation, turkey, stuffing, booze, followed by a little less awkward conversation, oohing and ahhing over babies, pie, board games...could be worse, right? And again, no one in my family is a football fan: Now that's something to be thankful for. :)

And now, somehow, the Holiday Season is officially ON and the stores are telling us to BRING IT when it comes to shopping. We are suddenly inundated with brightly colored circulars stuffed between sections of the newspaper and LOUD TV commercials and JUNK EMAIL OUT THE WAZOO all claiming to have JUST WHAT 'THEY' NEED for the holiday. Well you know what, capitalist swine? I'M NOT HAVING IT. Not one little bit.

Well, maybe a little bit. But a VERY little bit. But really, I'm pretty much done. We are making a concious effort to keep it simple with the storebought stuff (only items purchased have been dvds and books- all online) and I plan on adding some homemade touches (cookies, anyone?) I'm also finishing up a wicked knitting project for Otto...will post pics when finished.

And now I feel like I can just focus on the things I love about the season: How the days get shorter and shorter, the daylight becoming more precious each day. Snow. Cuddling on the couch and watching holiday movies. Getting to focus on loved ones by both buying/making gifts and by planning to and then spending time with them. Receiving holiday cards. Chopping down and decorating a tree - bringing nature into our home to remind us that even in the dead of winter the earth is still alive and waiting to be green again.

Oh, and hot chocolate. With peppermint schapps. Yum.